April 2015 Newsletter

Contents of April 2015 Newsletter – Volume 35, Issue 4

  • Letter from the editor
  • Announcements
  • Kenyan Dinner
  • Invitation to Serve on the CRPCA Board
  • Peace Corps Send off
  • CRPCA Crafting Night
  • Book Group Update
  • 2015 NW Regional RPCV Family Campout
  • 2015 CRPCA Family Campout
  • CRPCA May to June events

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Letter from the editor

This month’s newsletter includes a report on the Kenyan cooking lesson fundraiser held last month, as well as a reminder about the open board positions to be voted on at the next business meeting on April 12. There will be another adult craft night tonight, as well as a “Portlandia” viewing (different venues!) – see the listings below for more info. We didn't receive any leads on RPCV or current PCV profiles this month, so if you would like to be profiled in May (or know of someone who should be), please get in touch! If you have any announcements or information that you'd like shared in the April newsletter, send it my way before April 25. Until next month!

— Meaghan Corwin, Armenia 2008–2011 & Mongolia 2011–2013


Announcements

¶ Do you have experience working with youth? Looking to work with an organization that empowers immigrants, refugees, and other underserved groups to become self-sufficient and contributing members of society? Look no further! As a Summer Works Specialist at IRCO, you will provide workforce development services to low-income youth disconnected from traditional high schools or lacking the basic skills and credentials to enter college or career pathway employment. If you have good computer skills, access to your own transportation, and are as empathetic as you are well-organized, check out more details in the job announcement.

¶ Green Empowerment, a local Portland NGO working in conjunction with AsoFenix, a Nicaraguan NGO in the municipality of Boaca is sponsoring a service learning trip to El Jocote, a remote village June 6-14, 2015. Several of us here in Portland are joining with a Bay Area group to form a team. We will live with the villagers, work on several projects such as patio gardens, new latrines, new improved cook stoves, solar panels, have a weekend R & R as well as visit other environmental sustainable projects in which AsoFenix is involved. Please see more by going to the Green Empowerment website or emailing Gloria Halper at losninos6@gmail.com

¶ Copies of the 2015 International Calendars are still available. We'lll have them at all CRPCA social activities through the end of the year, but you can also contact your neighborhood representative (info on the CRPCA website) to get your calendar(s), or you can make an order through our checkout page. Proceeds from the calendar sales support the CRPCA grants program.


Kenyan Dinner

Guest Chef Flozzie Randari discussing the cooking process.
Guest Chef Flozzie Randari discussing the cooking process.

On March 21st, CRPCA members, friends, family and coworkers gathered at the Shelton/DeMeo home to try their hand at cooking Kenyan food in the first of a series of fundraisers centering around ethnic food. Not only did we get to enjoy the food and friendship, meet some new people and reunite with old friends, but we also raised over $500 to support the CRPCA small grants program. This was a new model of fundraising for the group, and those who attended said it was a hit! Special thanks are due to our Guest Chef, Flozzie Randari who comes from Kitui, Kenya. Flozzie is currently attending Reed College and is a friend of CRPCA member Anne Kimberly. Anne, along with Brenda Michel, Mercedes Michel, Tom DeMeo and Rosemary Furfey all helped with the preparations for the event, thanks to each and every one of you! The menu included mchuzi stew (both a beef and a vegetarian version), sukuma wiki (traditional collards) served with ugali (white cornmeal polenta) and rice. Beverages included a variety of South African wines and Tusker beer from Kenya. Special guests included Bob and Grace Walker (parents of Charles Walker, RPCV Panama and past CRPCA grant recipient, and birthday girl Marilyn Watts (with partner Carol Wright) former CRPCA member and co-founder of Friends of Honduras. For more photos from the event, see the CRPCA website.

Next fundraising event? Will it be a Latin American barbeque or an Eastern European feast? Stay tuned for the announcement and get ready to enjoy more wonderful food!

Report courtesy Phyllis Shelton, article photo by Erin Getting


Invitation to Serve Your Local Peace Corps Organization

At our April 12 potluck and business meeting, CRPCA’s assembled members will elect our 2015-2016 Board. We invite all members who would like to engage more with CRPCA to consider serving on our Board from May 2015 through April 2016. Elections will be held for all 15 Board positions. Known openings (incumbents not running for re-election) are listed here in italics.

  • President. Arranges and conducts officer meetings. Acts as liaison between the organization, the community, National Peace Corps Association, Peace Corps Washington and other National Peace Corps Association groups. Recruits officers if a position is vacated between elections. Ensures that the Bylaws are upheld.
  • Secretary. Keeps records required by ORS 65.771, including minutes from business meetings and up-to-date Bylaws. Writes and submits annual organizational reports to the Secretary of State and the National Peace Corps Association.
  • Treasurer. Has charge of all funds belonging to the organization; keeps on deposit the same. Receives and disburses funds as required. Keeps required financial records. The organization owns all software necessary to fill this role and CRPCA’s finances are fairly simple. This is a great opportunity to gain some valuable bookkeeping experience.
  • E-update Editor. Prepares and distributes a weekly e-mail to CRPCA’s current members. E-updates may contain news of CRPCA initiatives, reminders of CRPCA events, volunteer requests, announcements of community partners’ events, and job openings of potential interest to our members.
  • Newsletter Editor. Receives from officers, other members, National Peace Corps Association, Peace Corps Washington, other Peace Corps Association groups and members of the community information relevant for the Newsletter. Publishes Newsletter on a regular basis (currently monthly). Distributes Newsletter to membership.
  • Webmaster. Maintains the website (http://www.crpca.org) so that the information is current and relevant. Responds to information requests submitted to the site. Makes sure all dues related to maintaining the site have been paid by the Treasurer. Manages CRPCA group e-mail address(es) and social networking sites.
  • Education Coordinator. Organizes the CRPCA Speakers Bureau. Maintains information on members who are available to speak. Contacts appropriate agencies within the community to arrange speaking engagements. Assists speakers with locating resources for improving their presentations.
  • Events Coordinator. Coordinates the Annual Fundraising Dinner Committee (see Article VIII) and organizes other special and annual events.
  • Fundraising Coordinator. Coordinates the annual calendar sale. Works with the Events Coordinator to organize a charity auction at the Annual Fundraising Dinner. Organizes other fundraisers (events or sales) for the Association and charities selected by the Board.
  • Grants Coordinator. Takes in grant applications. Presents grant requests to the Board. Manages dispersal of grant funds in conjunction with the Treasurer.
  • Membership Coordinator. Maintains membership database. Communicates membership information to the Secretary, Treasurer, and Newsletter Editor. Sends out a welcome message to all new and renewing members. Notifies members when their membership is expiring. Picks-up mail from Association post office box at least monthly. The membership coordinator is also encouraged to actively seek out new members by getting the word out about the Association, networking with potential members at Association events, assisting with membership drives or devising new benefits or incentives for our members.
  • Networking Coordinator. Coordinates CRPCA’s participation in the national Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) Mentoring Program. This involves matching mentors with newly arrived RPCVs who request mentoring. Serves as the primary contact for members seeking jobs and for community members who hire RPCVs. Generates content for a web page of job and volunteer opportunities for local RPCVs. Organizes and/or proposes ways CRPCA can assist with members’ job searches.
  • Program Coordinator. Plans programs for meetings and arranges time and place of the programs. Notifies Newsletter Editor and Webmaster and coordinates publicity with the President. Introduces programs at events. Writes or assigns the writing of a report on the program for the Newsletter following each meeting.
  • Scheduling Coordinator. Manages the calendar of CRPCA events, ensuring that no CRPCA activities conflict. Maintains continually-updated event information in calendar format (for the on-line event calendar) and in text format (for pasting into e-updates and newsletters). Serves as the gatekeeper defining what is a CRPCA event, with input from the Board.
  • Service Coordinator. Organizes the Association’s service events. Coordinates the Association’s advocacy for Peace Corps issues.

You must be in attendance on April 12 to be elected or re-elected! Then, in addition to the duties listed above, all Board members are asked to attend our business meetings, generally on second Sundays in June, September, October, December, February, and April. Please contact Patrick Findler at president@crpca or the person currently holding the position to express interest or inquire about a role. A current Board member can be reached at the email addresses listed on the website contact page.


Peace Corps Send Off

Our annual Peace Corps Send Off Party in cooperation with local PC recruiters is happening on Monday April 27, 2015, from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm at the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy in Portland. Send-Off parties are delightful “feel good” events, bringing together past volunteers, future volunteers (especially mid-process applicants), their families, and others interested in Peace Corps. As part of organizing the Send-Off Party, our local recruiting team extends a special invitation to RPCVs: Showcase your experience and country of service by setting up a table at the event. If you can pitch in that way, RSVP by Friday, April 17 to Pravin Mallavaram (pmallavaram@peacecorps.gov, 503-267-2025) and he’ll make sure you have space. And even if you can’t organize a table, come to the event to meet – and help recruit – the next generation of PCVs.


CRPCA Crafting Night

Do you knit, crochet, embroider, quilt, or do anything else crafty? Join CRPCA's inaugural crafting night! Wednesday, April 1st, at 6:00, at the home of Meaghan Corwin in Southeast Portland. Bring your crafting project and anything you'd like to drink or snack on. Adults only, please. Please email Meaghan at newsletter@crpca.org with any questions and the exact address.


Book Group Update

Don't forget, we're reading Angélique Kidjo's Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music (2014) this month. The discussion will take place Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 6:30-8:00 pm at the home of Mike Waite, 7008 Kansas St in Vancouver WA, 360-314-4117. Note the change to our April book selection; it’s to accommodate an author appearance in May. Feel free to bring snacks to share.


2015 NW Regional RPCV Family Campout

Date: August 13-16, 2015 (2:30 PM Thursday – 1 PM Sunday)
Place: Beacon Rock State Park (Group Site G1), Skamania, WA
Pricing: $18.00 per person flat rate (no matter how many nights you stay.) Kids 14 and under camp FREE! And NO charge for parking.

Right on the Columbia Gorge, you can enjoy the view from the top of Beacon Rock, visit the fish ladders or just hang out at camp and visit.

With room for up to 200 people, this site has plenty of space for games, many tents and small RVs (no hook ups.) Activities will include the quarterly regional group leaders meeting on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday the 15th CRPCA will be providing dinner to all campers, and would love it if any local non campers came out to the park to join in! Day use fee to be paid at the gate. Plenty of parking at the site for our visitors!

Sunday morning’s breakfast is hosted by the 2016 coordinating group.

To register, please send an email with the number in your party and the nights you will be there to phyllisshelton@cs.com. We will start collecting the $18.00 per person fee soon, watch for more info in the CRPCA E-Updates.


2015 CRPCA Family Campout

Date: June 18-21, 2015 (4 PM Thursday–Noon Sunday)
Place: Kingfisher Group Site, Milo McIver State Park, Estacada, OR
Pricing: $12.00 per person flat rate (no matter how many nights you stay.) Kids 14 and under camp FREE! And NO charge for parking.

We have reserved the Kingfisher Group site, which will hold up to 100 people, has lots of room for games and space for many tents. This park has hiking trails, boat ramps and a disc golf course on top of being a beautifully forested getaway. Flush toilets are right at our group site along with ample parking. Showers can be found in other parts of the park, which would be a short drive away.

This year we are doing things a bit differently. First, we are expanding to three nights, for those who want to start the weekend Thursday evening. We will have a light meal ready that evening so you can focus on getting your tent set up and not worry about dinner.

Second big change is that kids (14 years old and under) camp FREE! We have a ton of space at this camping location so there will be soccer, volleyball, bocce and croquet just for starters. Any other suggestions for kids activities are welcome!

Saturday the 20th we will have a potluck dinner, and would love it if non campers came out to the park to join in! $5.00 day use fee to be paid at the gate. Plenty of parking at the site for our visitors!

To register, please send an email with the number in your party and the nights you will be there to phyllisshelton@cs.com. We will start collecting the $12.00 per person fee soon, watch for more info in the CRPCA E-Updates


CRPCA April Events

Wednesday, 04/01/15, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm –  Portlandia Viewing – 4308 SE Lexington St. in Portland. Spend the evening of April Fools Day watching CRPCA's Membership Coordinators, Adrienne Wolf-Lockett and Bob Lockett, act in two 2015 episodes of Portlandia: "House for Sale" and "You Can Call Me Al." Making an appearance will be the actors' themselves, not Fred and Carrie, but Adrienne and Bob! RSVP is REQUIRED to bookclub AT crpca.org for this post-dinner gathering, as attendance will be capped at 12. Hosted by Bill Stein (503-830-0817).

Tuesday, 04/07/15,  6:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Writers' Workshop, 318 SW Palatine Hill Road in Portland. (Big, yellow church). Bring a writing sample of any kind.  Writing prompts available for those who don't bring a sample.  Snacks to share are also welcome.    See our Writers' Workshop page for more information. Hosted by Maranee, "Mimi," Sanders, Turkey 3. RSVP to 503-293-6195 or mimisandersart at hotmail.com.

Sunday, 04/12/15, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Potluck GatheringPacific Crest Community School, 116 NE 29th Ave in Portland. Please bring a dish to share to the 6pm potluck dinner. At our 7:00 business meeting, we will elect 2015-2016 board members and decide on grant award(s). Hosted by Liz Samuels (503) 701-6218. Please note change of location from previous listings.  

Tuesday, 04/14/15, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm – Book Club7008 Kansas St., in Vancouver, WA. Note the later than usual start; traffic congestion out of Oregon should be lighter by 6:30. Also note that April and May book selections have been switched to accommodate an author appearance in May. The book to read is  Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music (2014)  by Kidjo, Angélique, with Rachel Wenrick .See our Upcoming Book Discussions page,  http://www.crpca.org/book-club/ for more information. Feel free to bring snacks to share. Hosted by Mike Waite, (360-314-4117).

Monday, 04/27/15, 5:45 pm to 7:45 pmPeace Corps Send-Off Party – Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy in Portland. Send-Off parties are delightful “feel good” events, bringing together past volunteers, future volunteers (especially mid-process applicants), their families, and others interested in Peace Corps. As part of organizing the Send-Off Party, our local recruiting team extends a special invitation to RPCVs: Showcase your experience and country of service by setting up a table at the event. If you can pitch in that way, RSVP by Friday, April 17 to Pravin Mallavaram (pmallavaram@peacecorps.gov, 503-267-2025) and he’ll make sure you have space. And even if you can’t organize a table, come to the event to meet – and help recruit – the next generation of PCVs.

Monday, 04/27/15, 7:45 pm to 8:45 pm – International Development Happy Hour -Lucky Labrador Public House, 7675 Southwest Capitol Highway in Portland. Co-hosted by CRPCA, Jubilee Oregon, North West Fair Trade Coalition, Portland Area Global AIDS Coalition and RESULTS-Portland. An informal gathering to share information, resources and network and just plain chat over food and drink. Note the location and time change from our usual Soirées.

Wednesday, 04/29/15, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm – Job Search Support Group – Lloyd Center in Portland.This is an informal gathering of CRPCA members and friends who are seeking new work. Location at Lloyd Center in Portland.  Meet 7pm at the Food Court (3rd floor) exiting the elevator to the left side of the food court, looking for CRPCA sign plate overlooking the ice rink edge, or call Gordon Young at 206-351-6465 for our location if you arrive later. Contact Gordon at networking A crpca.org for more information.Informal gathering of CRPCA members and friends who are seeking new work. Stay tuned for location.   Contact Gordon at networking A crpca.org for more information.